I would like to thank the Clay County Free Press for your coverage of Clay County School News. In particular, thank you for the article dealing with snacks. The article was timely and presented the issue in a balanced way. It was informative, accurate, and well-researched.
Some misinformation is being passed around, most likely by two or three of our own employees at Clay Elementary School. The cost of a snack is certainly not $.09. Our cost, computed by the Nutrition Office of the WV Dept of Ed is $.90 as reported in the article. After-school activities vary from school to school. After-school suppers are provided 4 to 5 days a week, although not at every school. After-school county-wide happens on Monday through Thursday, although some school have 2 evenings and other schools 3 evenings, based on need.
The Head Start Association did provide Pre-k snacks previously, but stopped this year. After the article was printed, we received permission to begin serving “after-school” snacks for PreK and Kindergarten children at 2:30 p.m., after instructional minutes are completed. This permission was previously denied, but because Clay is an “at-risk” county, we were given special permission, after much discussion. Our reimbursement rate for these snacks is $.84 per snack. Two items are required. Usually one is a milk, which costs around $.25 each. Occasionally we get special pricing for commodity items such as juice or a fruit-cup of some type. Once in a while the price can range around 10 cents an item, but you cannot serve the same item each day. To get reimbursement, two items are required, and our cooks must stay extra time beyond regular work hours to get snacks ready, requiring additional salary costs.
In her article, Holly accurately reported the cost of snacks — the same information I provided to the board of education. Holly attends our meetings and has always done a nice job in gathering and reporting school information.
Thank you for your time and attention — and for your coverage of Clay County School News!
Kenneth C. Tanner, Superintendent